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17 Memorable Screen Kisses

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

 1) The first screen kiss

(YouTube link)

The first-ever kiss in a movie took place in 1896. It was between Mae Irwin and John Rice. The kiss itself only lasts for a few brief seconds, but it caused quite a scandal in those simpler times.

“They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house.”  -The Edison Catalogue

2) Most kisses in a single film

John Barrymore kisses various beautiful women a record 191 times in 1926's Don Juan, the first Warner Brothers Vitaphone film that mixed sound and music. A 167-minute film, 191 kisses- that comes out to a kiss every 53 seconds.
3) First girl-on-girl kiss

Okay, here's your question of the day: which took place first in cinema history, two women kissing or two guys? The first all-girl kiss took place a full 41 years before two guys caught up.

In 1930, the gorgeous Marlene Dietrich, dressed up in a man's tuxedo, presses her lips against another woman in the 1930 film Morocco. Marlene was nominated for an Academy Award for her role. This despite knowing little English and speaking her dialogue phonetically.

4) First guy-on-guy kiss

in 1971, in Sunday Bloody Sunday, Peter Finch kisses a guy and makes film history. This was to be filmdom's first guy-on-guy kiss. When asked about his historic kiss, Finch replied: “I did it for England.”

5) Man kisses cow?

Well, actually it was a small cow, a calf. What actor would ever kiss a cow?

Harpo Marx (who else?) The movie's zaniest comedian smothers a little calf with kisses at the end of the wonderful Marx brothers film Monkey Business (1931). We'll never know for sure, but I’d bet the scene was ad-libbed.

6) First open-mouthed kiss

In Flesh and the Devil (1926), John Gilbert and Greta Garbo make motion picture history and passionately kiss open-mouthed. The passion was, apparently, very real. At the time, Greta and John were carrying on a very hot affair, which led to them co-starring in three more films before their brief but intense affair ended.

7) Longest kiss in a movie between a man and a woman

In the 1941 film You're in the Army Now, Regis Toomey and Jane Wyman lock lips for a record three minutes and five seconds.

8) Stooge-on-Stooge kiss

In several Three Stooges shorts, Curly would kiss Moe, mistakenly thinking he was a beautiful girl. (This may be another movie first, as Curly Howard was Moe's kid brother in real life. Was there ever a previous brother-on-brother movie kiss?) Then, inevitably, Moe would spit the kiss out, wipe his mouth and utter “I’ve been poisoned.”

Of course, a hard slap by Moe would always follow. (What did you expect? This was the Three Stooges not Wuthering Heights, folks.)

9) Elvis gets his first screen kiss

Elvis Presley did not kiss any girls until his second movie 1957's Loving You. In the historic scene, Elvis (as "Deke Rivers") presses his lips against the lips of Jana Lund, who plays “Daisy,” an impetuous girl who sneaks into his dressing room. The first "Elvis-initiated" kiss, takes place later in the same film between Elvis and his co-star, Dolores Hart (who is now a nun).
10) Biggest age difference between two kissers

Would you believe 49 years? In the cult classic Harold and Maude, Ruth Gordon, age 73, kisses her lover, Bud Cort, age 23. (The kiss does not seem "gross" or "disgusting,” but instead is very touching.)

11) First ever interracial movie kiss

The cinema's first interracial kiss took place in 1957 in Island in the Sun. The movie's plot is about the passions of four different couples (two of which are black and white mixed couples). The couples are Harry Belafonte (black) and Joan Fontaine (white), and John Justin (white) and Dorothy Dandridge (black).

Because of the racist stereotypes at the time involving black men and white women, the studio decided it would be less dangerous/controversial to have the white man kiss the black woman, and John Justin and Dorothy Dandridge became the historic couple.

As a cruel sidebar, Joan Fontaine recalled receiving hundreds of "hate mail" letters for falling in love with a black man. Many of the hateful letters included dimes and quarters and said, “If you're so hard up you have to work with a n*****r"

12) Jerry Lewis kisses Dean Martin

Perhaps the most popular movie comedy team of all-time was Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Dean and Jerry made 16 films together from 1949 to 1956 and each one was a money-maker, the pair never had a box office flop.

But 1955's Martin and Lewis film Artists and Models was unique. In a touching scene in the film where Dean makes Jerry happy by reassuring him about his loyalty, Jerry kisses his comedy partner (albeit on the cheek).

13) Best Christmas film kiss

In the most beloved christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Jimmy Stewart (George Bailey) locks lips with Donna Reed (Mary). According to Hollywood legend, Stewart was extremely nervous about his first post-World War II screen kiss and forget half a page of dialogue. The lack of actual scripted dialogue made the kiss seem more passionate and genuine.

When the assistant director informed director Frank Capra about the missing dialogue, Capra replied: “With acting like that, who needs dialogue?" This kiss remains one of the most realistic, unique and beloved in movie history.

14) The Spiderman upside-down kiss

No kiss of recent movie times has generated as much attention, passion and conversation as the Tobey MacGuire-Kirsten Dunst upside-down kiss in Spiderman (2002). It was perhaps the movies' first-ever kiss where one of the two parties is upside-down.

Poor Tobey didn't mind the kiss itself, but because the smooch took place in a rainy scene, Tobey said the worst part of filming it was the water going up his nose.
15) Most beloved and iconic screen kiss of all-time?

Although the question is debatable, perhaps the most beloved and iconic screen kiss of all-time is the Burt Lancaster-Deborah Kerr "on the beach while the waves splash them" kiss in the 1953 Best Picture Oscar winner From Here to Eternity.

The kiss was not originally intended to take place in the surf, but was a last minute inspiration of director Fred Zinneman. The MPAA banned the kiss on the grounds that it was "too erotic.”

Many prints of the film had shortened versions of the film because projectionists would cut out frames to keep as souvenirs.

The legendary scene has been satirized and copied in many films, including The Seven Year Itch, Shrek, Airplane! and Grease.

16) Rhett Butler kisses Scarlett O’Hara

Countless women the world over have swooned while watching Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) sweep Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) in his masculine arms and plant a steamy kiss on her waiting lips in 1939's immortal Gone With The Wind.

Ironically, although the legions of ladies have fantasized about kissing the king, the truth is, Vivien did not enjoy kissing the legendary Mr. Gable. According to Vivien, she hated kissing Clark because "his dentures stank.”

17) Kissing Marilyn Monroe "was like kissing Hitler"

One of the screen's steamiest-ever kisses took place between Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959). In the famous scene, Marilyn is trying to seduce Tony and she kisses him quote aggressively to drive home her point.

Locking lips with Marilyn Monroe was every male in the movie-going world's dream, but two things occurred during filming. One, Marilyn kept flubbing and forgetting her lines, causing take-after-take consternation in Curtis. And two, even worse, poor Tony had to keep taking a bite of a chicken leg before each messed up take, causing him to develop a severe aversion to chicken.

When asked later about the kisses by the press, Curtis, surprisingly and famously, said that kissing Marilyn Monroe "was like kissing Hitler.”

For the record, Curtis was very vague about the quote for the rest of his life, and sometimes even denied ever saying it.


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Sarah Michelle Gellar & Selma Blair in Cruel Intentions...oh that little string of saliva at the end...

The kiss you most definitely DO NOT want:
Al Pacino as Michael Corleone kisses his brother Fredo (John Cazale) after learning that Fredo betrayed him and tried to have him killed telling him "I know it was you Fredo. You broke my broke my heart!!"

Great subject Eddie!
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